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Host of this year’s G8 summit, Berlusconi, 72, is expected to lead the gathering of world leaders to focus on issues concerning Iran, North Korea, the economic crisis, food security and global warming.

On the domestic front, the three-time prime minister faces a sluggish economy and drew criticism over his government’s slow response to an earthquake in central Italy in April that displaced some 60,000 people. He changed the venue of the summit to the quake-damaged city of L’Aquila in late April.

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